Patriots: Despite uncertainty surrounding Sunday, Pats begin preparation for win-and-in game against Buffalo

FOXBOROUGH – As local cameramen and camerawomen began setting up for the weekly Bill Belichick press conference on Wednesday morning, other media members started to trickle in.

It felt like any other Wednesday during the regular season.

Suddenly, about a half hour before Belichick was about to speak, everyone was notified that the NFL had allowed both the Patriots and the Bills to postpone media availability for another day given the unprecedented circumstances facing Buffalo. The “wait, really?” question quickly started to float around the media work room as everyone began checking emails.

Now, imagine having that type of uncertainty surrounding you as a player who has put everything you have into this season. That’s what the Patriots were dealing with on Wednesday as they took the field behind Gillette for the first practice of the week. The energy was light, but there was a little bit of a strange feel in the air for everyone. Still, defensive lineman DaMarcus Mitchell managed to put on a mini show for the large group of reporters and camera crews on hand, airing out a few passes and making a couple nice grabs while playing catch with an assistant coach during the stretching period. The media had about five minutes to watch at that point, where it just sort of felt different.

Belichick and players are scheduled to speak on Thursday and presumably are preparing as usual for a game on Sunday that literally has the entire season riding on it. With the unfortunate circumstances hovering over the Bills after teammate Damar Hamlin’s cardiac episode on Monday night, it just so happens that New England is now caught in the middle of this terrible situation.

It feels like the Bills are going to play Sunday, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see this game pushed back to Monday. Either way, the Patriots obviously have to cater to whatever the Bills need right now. The good news is that if there’s one coach you want trying to keep a team focused on a single mission in such a week full of unknowns, it’s Bill Belichick. Whether you think he’s lost a bit of his mojo or not, who else would you want in this spot? Maybe other than Sean McDermott at this point after seeing how well he handled the situation in Cincinnati.

Assuming New England plays on Sunday, there’s zero chance the Bills sit anyone if they end up playing. We’ve all seen how teams rally around a player that’s injured, never mind one that almost had his life end just a few days prior. The fan base already hates the Patriots, now add on the obvious feeling of needing to help bring the team up energy wise, to say Highmark Stadium (I still want to call it Ralph Wilson Stadium) is going to be a hornet’s nest would be an understatement.

Some people may believe the Patriots don’t deserve to be a playoff team and you may be right, but if they can get through this week and then get a win on the road in one of the most emotional environments we’ve ever seen, you bet your ass they deserve to be in.